As mentioned before, not all pain in the chest or in the heart results in a heart attack. There can be other causes as well. One of them is the very critical condition called pericarditis.
To get chest pain treatment in Kolkata you can contact a top doctor, Dr. Amitabha Saha.
So, on that serious note, let’s look at all details concerning the types, causes and diagnoses of pericarditis.
What Is Pericarditis?
Pericarditis is a condition that refers to the inflammation of the pericardium, which is a sack-like membrane that contains the heart. This is the most common disease of the pericardium and can be infectious or non-infectious. The cause of pericarditis can be viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitical.
Types of Pericarditis
If the pericarditis lasts for a short period of time it is known as acute pericarditis, if it lasts for a long time, it is known as chronic pericarditis. Based on the type of fluid that accumulates around the heart, this condition can be divided into 5 types. They are:
What Are the Symptoms of Pericarditis?
The symptoms of pericarditis are as follows:
- general weakness
- minor fever
- pain in the shoulder
- sharp pain in the chest that is sometimes central and other times to the left. The pain may decrease in intensity when sitting up and leaning forward.
- shortness of breath, especially when reclining
- swelling of the abdomen or legs
Complications of Pericarditis
There are two complications of pericarditis.
- Cardiac Tamponade
If too much fluid builds up in the pericardium, more pressure is put on the heart, causing a fatal drop in blood pressure if left untreated.
- Constrictive Pericarditis
If there is permanent thickening and scarring of the pericarditis, it causes a hardening of the tissues and restricts the heart from working properly.This can lead to swelling of feet, hands and shortness of breath.
Causes of Pericarditis
Several viruses can cause pericarditis. They are:
- enteroviruses, including the common cold and viral meningitis
- glandular fever
- herpes simplex
- adenoviruses including pneumonia and bronchitis
- hepatitis C
Pericarditis can occur after a major heart attack, or after heart surgery. There can be other causes of pericarditis such as:
- certain medications, including penicillin, warfarin, and phenytoin
- fungi, such as histoplasmosis and Candida
- kidney failure
- systemic inflammatory disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
- underactive thyroid
- underlying conditions, such as AIDS, cancer, and tuberculosis
Diagnosis of Pericarditis
To diagnose pericarditis, the doctor may use the following tools:
- Chest X-ray
- MRI of the heart
This condition can be treated by medication or surgery. The surgical option involves attaching a little tube for a few days so that the liquid is drained. Or the pericardium is completely removed, which is a little risky surgery. For any chest pain treatment in Kolkata don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Amitabha Saha!